The sponge layers of this cake are very light as they don’t contain fat or raising agents, the rise is achieved purely by the whipping of air into the eggs. This is a very quick and simple cake to make and its merit is directly proportional to the quality of ingredients you use to make it. Ensure you use the freshest possible organic eggs, duck eggs if you can get them.
Recipe by Kate Packwood.
For the sponge:
6 large organic eggs
180g caster sugar
180g plain organic flour (sieved)
For the filling:
500ml organic cream (preferably Irish single-estate, such as Mossfield)
1 to 2tbsp good quality rose water (to taste)
4 heaped tbsp. raspberry jam
2 punnets of raspberries
75g shelled pistachios
Dried rose petals (I use Steenberg’s organic)
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Break 6 eggs into a very clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk the eggs gently to break them up, then add the caster sugar and whisk on medium high speed until the ‘thick ribbon’ stage is reached. This means the mixture will be light, have increased substantially in volume and be of a moussy consistency. When you lift the whisk the mixture should fall slowly in thick ribbons.
While the eggs are whisking, grease three (22cm diameter) cake tins and line the bottom with a disk of parchment paper.
When the thick ribbon stage is reached, add the sieved flour and fold in very gently to fully incorporate without knocking the air out of the mixture. Very carefully apportion the mixture between the three cake tins and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes, turning two thirds of the way through the cooking time. You will know when they are ready as they should be golden brown and coming away slightly from the edges of the tins. Remove from the oven and cool in their tins for 10 minutes before carefully turning out and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
Whisk the cream in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Be careful not to over-whisk it, you want it to be in soft peaks and full of volume. When the correct volume has been reached, add the rose water little by little to your taste. Chop the pistachios so that you have a good mix of larger chunks and nut dust.
When the sponge is completely cooled, remove the parchment disks from the undersides and place the first sponge on the stand on which you plan to serve it. Spread the sponge with a thin layer of raspberry jam and then generously spoon on about a third of the rose water cream. Arrange raspberries across the cream remembering to evenly arrange them around the very outer edge, as these will show when you sandwich the layers together. Sprinkle a third of the chopped pistachios, again remembering that the ones on the very edge will show.
Place the second layer of sponge on top and repeat with the jam, cream, raspberries and pistachios, then add the final layer of sponge. Don’t add jam to this layer, but add the cream being more careful as all of this layer will show. Arrange the raspberries and pistachios artfully and then sprinkle over the dried rose petals.